Torungen lighthouses: Store and Lille

Torungen lighthouses: Store and Lille
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Store Torungen is a lighthouse on an island outside Arendal in Aust-Agder. The lighthouse is coastal, and was created in 1844 along with Lille Torungen and Sandvikodden Lighthouse. Store and Lille ( ‘big’ and ‘little’) Torungen were built as a twin lighthouse, and therefore Arendal is called City of the two lighthouses.

Lille Torungen Lighthouse is located on a small island 3.2 miles (5.2 kilometers) south of Arendal. A little less than a mile (1.4 kilometers) further out  is Store Torungen.


Arendal has a population of about 42,000. In the town center is an area with wooden houses dating back to the 17th century. The inner harbor of Arendal is called Pollen where fish market, pubs, and restaurants are located. Arendal is the host of the annual Norwegian Grand Prix for F1 Powerboat Racing and several large, annual music festivals.

Lighthouse History

  • The first lighthouse on Store Torungen was built brick-by-brick by Berger Tegelsteinsfabrikk in Drammen. The cast iron lens was 42.5 meters above sea level, and was an older French lens. The railings and steps up to the towers of both lighthouses  were cast at the ironworks at Nes. Store and Lille Torungen were built 1,100 meters apart. The keeper’s house was larger than usual at the time and had a small room were the assistant could keep his clothes and spend his free time.
    Torungen Lighthouse

    Original drawings for the first lighthouse at Torungen.

  • In 1914, Store Torungen was rebuilt: the brick tower was demolished and replaced with a new cast iron tower. The cast iron tower has a hight of 112.5 feet (34.3 meters) and stands 142 feet (43.3 meters) above the high tide mark. At Store, there is machinery house, accommodation, outbuildings and an old smithy. There is also a port with a boathouse, brick remains of the tower and the former homes and outbuildings, gardens and traces of old gardens and smaller farming operations. Tulips grow wild  on the island  – Arendal’s municipality flower.
  • There has been a meteorological station on the island since 1914, in recent years this has been automated. The island’s only residents, Knut Morland and Sondre Foyn Gullvåg, operate a tourist business for the Torungen Lighthouse Foundation, in cooperation with Aust-Agder tourist foundation. The lighthouse is rented out along with the boathouse. There are about 25 beds for rent.

Getting To Torungen

Staying at Torungen Lighthouses gives you an unique opportunity to experience the stunning coast overlooking the open sea at the entrance of Arendal. The panoramic views are stupendous.

You can book a stay at both Store and Lille Torungen Lighthouses See Aust-Agder Tourist Association online. This is a Norwegian-only language site. You can try viewing the page via Chrome browser and using the translate function. Or, you can email them at: aat@turistforeningen.no

A boat trip can be arranged. Just contact one of these companies:
Skilsøferga AS: Tel.: +47 90 06 12 35
M/S Patricia AS: Tel.: +47 97 14 50 00
Mørland & Karlsen AS: Tel.: +47 37 01 66 00

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